POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 18, 2011
Question: Twice in the past two years, I've taken visitors to the Pali Lookout and was appalled both times to see the condition there. The area is overgrown and unkempt, and the map that explains the lookout is unreadable. What is happening with this landmark?
Answer: Ironically, the most faded sign says, "What Can I See From Here?" — and its landmarks are blurred and undistinguishable.
However, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources' Parks Division is preparing to replace the faded interpretive signs with updated ones that should last longer.
Replacing signs and other park fixtures "is a recurring necessity, though we do try to select durable materials to make things last as long as possible," said DLNR spokeswoman Deborah Ward.
The new signs will use high-pressure lamination technology, similar to Formica, and will cost about $700, including shipping, she said.
"These signs should last for 10 years and not dry out or become cloudy," Ward said. Examples of these newer signs are at Diamond Head State Monument, where they've been in place since 2000 "with very little fading."
Deterioration is not the only problem.
The first interpretive signs at the Pali Lookout were installed in 1997.
"After being vandalized, they were replaced in 2002 by signs made of screened paper print embedded in layers of Fiberglas which had an expected life span of five to 10 years," Ward said. "After the signs were covered in graffiti in 2010, they substantially deteriorated and became cloudy after various materials were used to clean them."
Regarding overgrowth, Ward said Parks Division maintenance workers go to the Pali Lookout every other day and recently trimmed and removed a number of christmasberry trees. They "are current on the grass cutting," she said, which appeared to be the case when we recently visited.
The state park area consists of the parking area, the lookout and the upper portion of the roadway.
Question: We appreciate the information about renewing state ID cards by mail by calling a number. But we've been calling all morning and only get a busy signal. Why don't they have an online form for renewing by mail?
Answer: The state ID card office was inundated by calls after we said renewals by mail were available to applicants who are 65 or older, obtained an ID card after Nov. 1, 1998, and have no change in name or citizenship (is.gd/kokualine06292011).
Instead of calling, you are advised to be patient and wait for a notice to renew.
Renewal-by-mail applications are sent to eligible card holders prior to the expiration of their ID cards, said Liane Moriyama, who oversees the state ID office.
"We are trying to get these notices out one month prior to expiration but are not always successful in that regard," she said. The website hawaii.gov/ag/hcjdc/main/ hawaii_id_cards was to be updated to clarify this information.
"Currently, because of the shortage of staff and long lines, we are not always able to answer the phone calls in a timely manner, so we strongly recommend" that applicants wait for the notice of eligibility rather than call.
Another recommended option for those with computer access is to contact the office by emailing email@example.com.
To Frances/Francine, her brother and the man in a yellow shirt for stopping to help when a truck hit my car early Saturday morning, July 2, near the Hawaii Kai McDonald's. I was so shaken up and appreciate your help and kindness. Peace and blessings to you all for taking the time to stay with me the entire time the police and ambulance were there. It is wonderful to know that there are still caring people like you in this world. — A Very Appreciative Driver
Write to “Kokua Line” at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.